Jen Hatmaker, Blurry Lines, and Transformative Truth

Jen Hatmaker is the new Beth Moore in many Christian ladies’ circles.

These sentiments are not surprising. Hatmaker has made far more controversial comments on Christian sexual ethics before. While Religion News Service’s Jonathan Merritt believes Hatmaker’s post reflects a shift on LGBTQ inclusion, he also notes in a recent column that she’s made similar statements on the subject in the past. Merritt points out Hatmaker’s 2014 controversial blog response to World Vision’s reversal of its initial decision to accept same-sex marriage among its employees.

 

Jen Hatmaker is the new Beth Moore in many Christian ladies’ circles. She is a popular mommy blogger, Evangelical conference speaker, the author of 7, For the Love, and many more devotions and Bible studies. Hatmaker and her husband Brandon, an Austin-based pastor, even starred in their own fixer-upper HGTV show last autumn.

But it’s not her blog, books nor TV show that have religion commentators abuzz this week. It’s her Facebook page and a so-called “shift” in LGBTQ affirmation that has Evangelicals talking about her.

On Saturday, April 23, Hatmaker wrote on her Facebook page:

One things I said was that it is high time Christians opened wide their arms, wide their churches, wide their tables, wide their homes to the LGBT community. So great has our condemnation and exclusion been, that gay Christian teens are SEVEN TIMES more likely to commit suicide.

Nope. No. No ma’am. Not on my watch. No more. This is so far outside the gospel of Jesus that I don’t even recognize its reflection. I can’t. I won’t. I refuse.

I agree with Hatmaker that Christians should be loving and welcoming. But that’s not the end. She continues:

So whatever the cost and loss, this is where I am: gay teens? Gay adults? Mamas and daddies of precious gaybees? Friends and beloved neighbors of very dear LGBT folks?

Here are my arms open wide. So wide that every last one of you can jump inside. You are so dear, so beloved, so precious and important. You matter so desperately and your life is worthy and beautiful. There is nothing “wrong with you,” or in any case, nothing more right or wrong than any of us, which is to say we are all hopelessly screwed up but Jesus still loves us beyond all reason and lives to make us all new, restored, whole. Yay for Jesus!

“The end.,” she concludes a little later in the post. These sentiments are not surprising. Hatmaker has made far more controversial comments on Christian sexual ethics before. While Religion News Service’s Jonathan Merritt believes Hatmaker’s post reflects a shift on LGBTQ inclusion, he also notes in a recent column that she’s made similar statements on the subject in the past. Merritt points out Hatmaker’s 2014 controversial blog response to World Vision’s reversal of its initial decision to accept same-sex marriage among its employees. In her retort to World Vision’s reversal, Hatmaker claimed:

Godly, respectable leaders have exegeted the Bible and there is absolutely not unanimity on its interpretation. There never has been. Historically, Christian theology has always been contextually bound and often inconsistent with itself; an inconvenient truth we prefer to selectively explain.

Fierce love and a call for unhindered welcomes for all into the body of Christ are to be applauded and, more importantly, emulated.

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